Friday, October 22, 2010

The Erotic Apocalypse

This is the apocalypse. Less explosions than I would have thought, actually.

The fact that women are half of all workers (we're half the population, it's about damn time) fills some people with hope, others with despair and still others with . . . really kinky fantasies, apparently.

From the Thinking Housewife, I give you the Erotic Apocalypse*.

THIS AD appears in the latest issue of Fortune. The slogan is “Women as half of all workers changes everything.” That’s true. It does change everything, including the hearts and minds of women. The women in the foreground of this ad appear aroused. They appear to be on the verge of an erotic apocalypse, as if they will gaze from the pinnacles of power with moans of ecstasy. Notice how the morning sun rises in the background. They carry severed heads in their handbags.

Um, okay, let me wipe the sticky from the monitor . . . There we go. I guess lots of things are in the eyes of the beholder, because I'm not seeing arousal, excuse me, arousal, or severed heads. Really, who puts a severed head in their handbag? You're never getting that clean. I prefer to use a reuseable grocery bag, personally.

*Much sexier than the Zombie Apocalypse.


  1. Aroused? No.

    Posing for some promotional photos or a DVD box set cover for some sort of prime time television drama? Yes.

  2. I for one welcome our new erotic overlords.

  3. Just, um, don't cross the erotic apocalypse with the zombie apocalypse, 'kay? 'Cause, y'know, ick.

  4. Posing for some promotional photos or a DVD box set cover for some sort of prime time television drama? Yes.


    If you'd told me it was a promotional set-piece for a terrible ABC chick-lawyer drama where the women are hard-charging career women by day and neurotic margarita-soaked slutbags who meet to complain about how they just can't find a good man and compensate by having sex with any square-jawed nitwit who happens by by night I'd have totally believed you.

    And then I never would have watched that show. Because it would be terrible.

    I mean, seriously. What's up with that premise? Why is it that that character is the stock professional female on TV still? I, personally, know career women who have husbands and kids and whatnot. Some of them are quite successful and have husbands and kids and whatnot. I also know career women who don't have husbands and kids and whatnot because, as with any stereotype, there is a germ of truth at the base of the stock character and there are, in fact, people like that.

    But it's not EVERYONE. So why do hack TV writers and producers seem to think we want to see those people everywhere on our televisions?

  5. "I for one welcome our new erotic overlords."

    Me too.

    But I'm still not seeing that in this photo and, believe me, I'm pretty good at picking up on lady erotic subtext. Projection much, Thinking Housewife?

  6. I'd like to do an analysis on this kind of projection (as Fannie rightly points out it is). You know, the "the meaning you give to something says something about you, not about the thing" kind of analysis. I friggin love those. Specifically as they relate to "this is sexy!!" when everyone else is all, "... Is it?" This post (Housewife's, not PF's) is the Internet equivalent of blurting something out at a party, and everyone gives you this look like, "Did you hear yourself just then?" Except I don't think Housewife actually notices everyone staring at her.

    I'd also like to contribute some severed heads (with plastic bags!) for their lovely handbags up there. I can think of a few choice head-donor candidates. *envisions shining katana flying in beautiful arcs*

  7. I mean, seriously. What's up with that premise? Why is it that that character is the stock professional female on TV still?

    Because, Geds, according to the patriarchy women can be EITHER successful career people OR happily married moms, but you CANNOT have both EVER. you bitch. don't even try it.

    Also, clearly CN's Empire uniform is going to need to involve easily cleanable fabrics.

  8. Because, Geds, according to the patriarchy women can be EITHER successful career people OR happily married moms, but you CANNOT have both EVER. you bitch. don't even try it.

    And cartoons shall lead the way: Johnny Test ftw

    Plus everyone knows you use bowling ball carriers or burlap sacks for heads.

  9. Not a TV show, just an ad for a trendy clothing store.

    But methinks the (un)Thinking Housewife sees what she wants to see. Because "aroused"? The one on the right has that vaguely touseled hair that some people work to get, but with that completely deadpan look, I don't get "arousal." At best, "well, go ahead, if you must."

    Which actually might explain a lot about the (u)TH's personal life, if you think about it...

  10. When I was up in Chicago last week I had a couple beers with a couple of my former co-workers, both of whom are female.

    At one point the conversation turned to female bosses, when one of the women referred to a former boss as her best female boss ever. We all had had good and bad bosses who were women. The thing we concluded is that the best woman to have as your boss is...wait for who has a personal life and pretty much has it together.

    The reason was simple: the stereotypical "career woman" is the one who's always trying to prove herself by giving up everything for her job. Since she's doing it that way, she expects her people to do it that way. I also strongly suspect that there's a component with a career woman boss working with a woman as an employee where she can very easily feel threatened and make life miserable for said employee.

    My follow-up realization to that was another moment of examining privilege. As a man in the workplace I can make the default assumption that I am where I am because everyone appreciates my work and my capabilities. I do not have to worry that I'm some sort of diversity hire or that anyone is talking behind my back about how I'm sleeping my way to the top (which would be an odd topic of conversation, anyway, as I'm not trying to get to the top, but I digress). Further, I don't have to worry that anyone is looking at my to "prove" myself. Most male bosses are in a similar situation. They can usually do what they do on the base assumption that they are where they are because they deserve to be there.

    I have largely worked for organizations that had plenty of women in leadership roles. The CEOs of two of the four major corporations I've worked for were women. At my last company the CEO and the next in line were women, as were many of the people in the next two layers. The company I work for now has women in many of the Vice President roles. I don't know about the C-Suite, as I haven't actually seen an Org Chart.

    Either way, the point is this: in those situations the women in the company can feel fairly comfortable that they are safe. As such, they just kind of do their thing and are either good bosses or bad bosses on their own terms, not on their perceived notion of what someone else's terms are. So they have husbands and kids and houses that need yard work on the weekends and all that other stuff.

    So when they go to work they know that they have better things to do with their time than hang around at the office 12 hours a day. They then realize that their employees also probably have better things to do.

    This, in turn, makes them better bosses.

    My ultimate argument, then, is that the best way to create equality in the workplace is to have workplaces where it is completely commonplace to have women working as drones, managers, VPs, and Executive Officers. When that is accepted as the norm, the "career woman who is neurotic and can't find love" stereotype will be a thing of the past.

    And that, I would argue, would be a better world for everyone.

  11. Empress, I'm afraid you might have to clothe me in swathes of purple faux leather. (Blood wipes off easily from faux leather. Which one knows if one is addicted to the Urban Fantasy genre.) Why, just today, I imagined no fewer than three head donations to the lovely ladies in this ad.

    And sorry to repeat everyone (including myself), but I just can't get over it: where did she get "aroused"?? The two on the left look like they're here for your throne, the one in the middle looks like she's imagining a better world, the blonde one looks like she's laughing at your silly attempt to prevent their coup, and the one on the right is all, "I told you not to bring the wooden horse inside the gates. Dumbass." Clearly they aren't aroused; they're here to take over.

    What? No, I didn't spend most of the day imagining a world run by Amazons, why do you ask?

  12. Yeah. I can't get "aroused" out of any of those facial expressions, either.

    Although I do get "constipated" out of the dark haired one in the foreground on the left side and, "This is my serious face, see it?" out of the blond.


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